893.801/6–2249: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Minister-Counselor of Embassy in China (Clark), at Canton

TelCan 384. Ur 638 June 23. Dept desires you deliver to FonOff following note in reply to note of June 20:

“The Embassy of the United States of America presents its compliments to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China and has the honor to refer to the latter’s note No. 5938 [5138] of [Page 1105]June 20 stating that the Govt of China has now decided that the regions from the north bank of the mouth of the Min River, longitude 119.40 E. and latitude 26.15 N., to the mouth of the Liao River, longitude 122.20 E. and latitude 40.30 N., which lie along the coast and within the territorial waters of China shall be temporarily closed, and entry therein of foreign vessels shall be strictly forbidden. The note under reference adds that instructions have been issued by the Govt of China for the enforcement of this decision beginning from midnight June 25, 1949, and calls attention to a decision by the Govt of China on June 18, 1949, to close all ports originally declared open but no longer under the actual control of the Govt of China.

“As requested therein, the Ministry’s note was transmitted to Washington. The Emb is now instructed to state in reply that, despite the friendliest feelings toward the Chi Govt, the US Govt cannot admit the legality of any action on the part of the Chi Govt in declaring such ports and the territorial waters adjacent thereto closed to foreign vessels unless the Chi Govt declares and maintains an effective blockade of them. In taking this position, the US Govt has been guided by numerous precedents in international law with which the Chi Govt is doubtless familiar and has noted that the ports referred to are not under the actual control of the Chi Govt.”

Pls report by tel delivery of note in order Dept may release text.

Acheson